This episode is part of a course.
Living the Yamas and Niyamas Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 5

Asteya (Non-Stealing)

45 min - Practice


Robert guides us through a talk and practice based on Asteya or non-stealing. We begin seated with a breathing practice and mostly stay low to the ground with a series of stretching postures that allow us to connect to the subtle sensations in the body. You will feel fluid and at ease.
What You'll Need: Mat


Read Full Transcript

Hey there, welcome back, nice to see you again. This is our third practice in this series, and we're going to work on Estea. This is not stealing, all right? This can be looked at in a lot of different ways. I'll bring up two main ways we can be aware of it.

Number one, don't steal anything that is not freely given to you. It doesn't feel right for you, it's not cool, right? The second one is time. People's time, our time in this life is very valuable. So where do you find yourself either your time being taken advantage of by somebody who won't stop talking, right?

It happens, it's life. Or maybe late. There's someone in your life who's always late and it's costing you 5, 10, 15, 20 minutes, or maybe that's you, right? You're late. So those are two main concepts of stealing, right?

Now if you're really interested in this concept, this practice, look it up and study it. But for now, right, we're going to add that to Ahimsa nonviolence, we're going to add that to the Satya truth, right, not lying, and we keep building on this so that we have a set of principles and it feels right to have these things going on in our lives, okay? So as we move into the practice, maybe there's something that's kind of clicked or resonated with you with this and you want to contemplate it and use it as your intention on the mat to do the work, all right? So that's up to you. So with that said, we're going to start seated.

So I invite you to sit with me. I'm going to sit with my legs crossed. You can sit with your legs crossed with sitting on a blanket or a block, something that gives you a little bit more lift, might feel better in your hips or your knees. So take the time to do that, all right? All right.

This is a win right now, just sitting and breathing, contemplating this. So close your eyes if you're okay with that. Rest your hands on your thighs, your knees, upright spine. Take a few meaningful and deliberate breaths. Breathing in through the nose, you elongate and lengthen the spine.

As you breathe out, keep the spine lengthening or lengthened and exhale all the way back down to your seat ground. Inhale takes you up. Exhale grounds you. One more time in through the nose, out of the nose or maybe a small little opening of the mouth. Okay.

Take the hands, palms facing up and then like you're cupping your shoulders, the tops of your shoulders. Your fingers are going to be on the front sides of the shoulders, thumbs are on the back. This is one of my personal kind of morning wake up, wake up the spine, wake up through the breathing. Okay. So this is some spinal twists.

So we'll start pretty mellow, see how it goes. So we're going to make sure you're lengthening through the spine, right? Okay. You're going to inhale, keep the elbows out, inhale to the left, wherever that is, right? Exhale to the left and exhale somewhat vigorously to the right.

I like to kind of go out of the mouth. It's in through the nose, out of the mouth, in through the nose, inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale. Keep going, keep the spine lengthened, it's like this vigorous twisting and rotating through the trunk of your body, bracing through the core and simply warming up, let's say the internal organs, the spine, the muscles in the back, inhale, ten, four, good. Come back to center, hands rest on the thigh, sit upright, couple of natural breaths, inhale and exhale. Now remember with this type of breathing, I probably should have mentioned this earlier, but it's breath in, stage one is like belly and diaphragm, there's this expansion.

The second stage or phase is up into the chest and all the way up into the brain almost, right? You might have to imagine that more, but there's like this three part kind of sensation. So it's breath in and out. Take the arms up overhead, take the right hand down to the mat, left arm stays up nice and high and we grab a side stretch. This practice isn't about a big time exercise, this is about connecting to the subtle sensations in the body.

It's about knowing how to adjust, right, how to adjust certain shapes. Let's go to the other side, up and over. So the left hand comes down to the mat, right arm reaches up, so we simply rotate up and over to the left for this lateral stretch. Great movement for the spine, so the left arm stays straight or slightly bent, right? You might even be able to bring your elbow all the way down.

I like to keep my elbow up. Reach up and over, breathe into the right side of the body, you might get really expansive to the ribs, the belly, the ribs, come back up to center, take those arms way out, circle them back behind you, plant the fingertips or the palms on the floor and push the chest upward, shoulders rotate back. Now it's like let the belly be proud, really breathe in, belly, diaphragm, chest, shoulders, and good, back up to neutral, hands onto the thighs, seated cat cow. Start off right where we were, hands on the knees or the thighs, lift the chest, shoulders back so we've got this nice spinal kind of extension. Exhale, seated cat pose, chin in, puff out the back and hollow out the front of the body, spread the shoulder blades wide, good, inhale, cow pose, seated, and exhale, cat pose while sitting.

We're trying to move the spine, kind of hydrate it, get it moving around, especially if this is like starting your day, exhale, cat pose, body can wake up feeling kind of stiff, good, back up to center, pause, nice. We'll take a seated twist, so rotate to the right, left hand on the right thigh, left hand back behind you, get nice and tall in the spine, good, rotate just enough so you know you're kind of doing a little bit of work. Back over to center and rotate right over to the other side, so right hand on the left thigh, left hand back behind you, and again, just enough to know you're getting a little bit or even a decent amount of work in your back. Back over to center, take the arms up on the breath in, and see what it feels like to fold forward, roll all the way back up, nice. One more thing here, take the right arm underneath the left, eagle wrap while sitting.

This is definitely one of my favorite ways to open up the shoulders and upper back. For me, it can tend to get pretty tight, so what we're going to do here is eagle arms, lift the elbows nice and high, lift the chest, this is that seated cow pose, and now we get a little cat pose with eagle arms, pull the elbows down toward the floor, tuck the chin, and now once you've got that rounded sensation in the back, pull the elbows toward the floor, feel that extra little stretch through the upper back possibly. And then one more, breathe in, and breathe out, cat pose. Back up to center, let's see what it feels like to roll through the shoulder, whole shoulder girdle, right, that region here, elbows up, side, side, and relax. Shake it out a little bit, take a breath, good.

Left arm underneath the right, grab hold of that eagle shape here, so now your left hand is reaching toward your right palm, twist a little bit side to side, get that circular motion going, all the while, right, you're either contemplating this practice of a staya, or maybe you have your own kind of personal, either personal take on a staya, or you've got your own personal intention, you're contemplating seated cat cow, round it out, stand up, and release, good. Let's take one breath here together, sit upright, hands on the thighs, kind of upper body nice and proud, breathe in, breathe out, good, okay, lean back, undo the legs, now we're going to do a little seated windshield wiper which will kind of open up the hips, hands back behind you, fingertips or the palms grounding, now wide legs, so get those legs wider than your hips, wider than the hips, okay, now see what it feels like now to rotate like a windshield wiper, your left knee to the left, right knee to the left, and as you're doing that pull the right shoulder back, good, and over to the other side, so right leg to the right, left leg to the right, left shoulder pulls back, I got like three pops in my back just now, that felt kind of nice, I think that's a good thing, over to the left again, and over to the right. Now we're going to go over to the left again, we're going to add a little lazy pigeon, so both legs down, I've got left leg 90 degrees, right leg 90 degrees, exhale, fold over that inner left thigh, grab a stretch for a moment in that outer left hip and thigh like you would pigeon pose, and then we come up and rotate over to the right side, one more time on each side, inhale, come up to center, and exhale, inhale, up to center, and switch it up over to the right, back up to center, very good, nice, so from here I'm going to spin around, give you a little bit better view here, similar pigeon, you can hit pigeon in so many different ways, you're going to lean back, take your left ankle on top of your right thigh, and you can walk your right heel a little bit closer to your rear, hands back behind you, and now you can really lean that body forward to get that pigeon sensation in the outer left hip, your buttocks on the left side, and go back and forth a little bit, you don't have to feel stuck any time, think of this as movement, simply moving your body while paying close attention, it's kind of nice, alright, now lift up a little bit to release that, you can stay lifted to switch sides, seat comes down, and notice how I'm really pushing my hands into the mat to keep my shoulders open, my chest kind of proud and my spine long, so the main sensation here with my right leg bent like so, is the outer right side, okay, and I'm pointing the right toes up, so I'd like you to point your toes up to protect your right knee, again just moving around, finding those areas that need a little extra love, alright, release the right foot, okay, now both feet kind of below the knees, fingertips pointing back, shoulders open, stay here if this is like, yeah, or lift the hips, lift the hips, pull those shoulders open, let the head relax, so from here let's bring the seat back down, and you can do that again with both arms, both hands, or see what it feels like to post up on the right arm alone like side plank, so we want a joint stack, ultimately my right shoulder will be over the right wrist, feet below the knees, so lift the hips, reach the left arm up, up, up, up, up, up, up, up, hips up, and find a little freedom here, so see how I'm able to get much more rise through that one arm rather than two, but you may be struggling a little bit more because it is one arm, let's try the other side, so slowly bring yourself back down, switch arms, and again it's probably going to feel a lot better for you to bring the fingertips back, okay, so right arm forward, get your alignment, so we get our alignment so that when we come up into the pose we feel yeah, yeah, we're not worried, we're safe, we're able to breathe, so right arm forward, left arm strong, lift, lift, lift, lift, lift, and with control, lower back down, okay, now you're in the perfect position here to explore boat pose, so both knees drawn in tight to the body, so you've got this kind of partial pike pose, arms now, let's actually start off by holding on to the hamstrings, lean back, but while you lean back lift the chest, pull the shoulders down, arms down alongside the body, you can stay right here, engage the core, or begin to engage the core and lift your feet up off of the mat, maybe the toes are pointing upright, pushing through the ball of each foot, or you could also point the feet, it's your choice, you can keep holding on here, or if you feel interested, you could also straighten your legs as an option, or one at a time, just make sure that when you do that you keep working at lifting the chest, staying away from rounding the back, so that lengthen neutral spine, good, keep those legs nice and fired, nice and strong, you can point your toes forward, push them up, and come on out, so we're gonna come into bound angle now, alright, so what I suggest is bringing the bottoms of your feet together, and maybe even moving them out away from the body a little bit, not gonna be here too long, cycle in and out a couple times, so breathe in, sit up nice and tall, as you breathe out, come forward, breathe in, roll up, lengthen up, breathe out, come on forward, inhale up tall, and exhale, stay here one breath, roll on up, stay tall here, keep the left foot where it is, extend the right leg out, so the left foot is in that inner right thigh, now bring the arms up on the breath in, and exhale, reach forward, and fold, now slide back up, you can bring the arms, the hands kind of like alongside the leg, sit up tall, breathe in, and breathe out, back into the fold, again, inhale, and exhale, always using that exhale to enter, enter, enter, stay here, one breath, breathe in, and breathe out, good, roll up, switch sides, right foot, inner left thigh, remember that left leg here, your left leg is firm and strong, we wanna counter the hamstring stretch with the front or top side of the leg being activated, okay, contracted, so we'll start with the arms up, breathe in, breathe out, fold over the left leg, kind of like relaxing and softening in, inhale away, and up, exhale forward and down, over that left leg stretched out long, one more time, inhale, exit, up, lengthen, exhale, forward and down, stay here a breath wherever you've landed, exhale, let it go, all the way back up, sweet, straddle stretch, I never teach this, ever, but I've been practicing it a lot, and I like it, so let's give it a shot, alright, now from here, you know, push the heels forward, toes up and back, so again, tops of the legs active, we'll do five, forward in, exit out, right, so exhale forward, inhale out, so breathe in, you can take the arms up, and breathe out, reach forward wherever you land, it doesn't matter, alright, you landed here, feel the intensity, now move away from it, breathe in, and breathe out, breathe in, and breathe out, keep the legs active, working just as much muscular effort while stretching and lengthening, inhale, come up, let's do two more, exhale, fold forward, one more time, breathe in, and breathe out, you can bring the hands forward or grab hold of your feet, maybe index and middle finger around your big toe, draw your elbows down toward the floor, shoulders open, comfortable breath in, and breath out, breath in, and breath out, good, let's come all the way back up, alright, bring the bottoms of the feet together one more time, kind of relax all of that lengthening that just happened there, and from here tabletop, so make your way onto your hands and knees, from tabletop, knees wide, knees together, personal preference on your end, push back and do a little child's pose, might feel nice right around now to give the low back a little relief, stretch those arms forward as far as you can get them, breathe from your waistline to the belly to the low ribs, mid ribs, upper ribs, chest, nice fulfilling complete breath, not forced, doing it when it feels necessary and right, now it's tabletop on the breath in, curl the toes and downward dog, exhale, make sure you're pressing pretty firmly into the base of each finger, you have those strong knuckles there, sometimes what I'll even do, it's worth mentioning now, is I get off of my wrists completely and stay right in those knuckles, right now I'm lifting my head but normally I'd want you to lower the head but I'm looking forward to give you the cues, so it's into the base of the knuckles, right, and you see how now my wrists are not in a flexed mode, they are neutral, so if you have any wrist issues this might be a good practice for you, soft knees lengthen spine, rotating those elbows down to externally rotate the shoulders away from the head, walk to the front of the mat, a bunch of little steps to get up there, work those hamstrings and calves a little bit, coming onto your fingertips, that gives you a little assistance in getting there, good, land with your feet, hip width, fold your body over your legs for a moment and then that adjustment in half lift, so come up halfway, let's place your hands, the heels of your palms into your inner like hip, at the tops of your thighs, that hip crease, so your fingers are on your thighs, what I want you to do is push, push, push back a lot, push heavy into the bones of your legs and your hips and lengthen your spine, bend your knees, breathe in, keep the knees bent, fold your body over, push the hips back, fold over, all the way up to stand, bring the arms up overhead, interlace your fingers, index finger is long, cross your thumbs, pull the belly in, tailbone down, reach the arms up as high as they can go and then drop the shoulders down into the back, take a side bend to the right, inhale up to center, good strong foundation in the legs, take a side bend to the left, lengthening up to side bend, back up to center, reach up, get tall, maybe send the hips forward just a tiny bit and exhale back to neutral palms, rest at the chest, heart center, inhale, bring the arms up, take that full body best day ever pose and exhale, soft knees, forward bend, inhale to your flat back, every time you can push those hips back to fold forward and down, step back into downward facing dog, inhale into your plank position, place the knees down onto the mat, keep the butt up as you bend your arms and reach your chest and chin toward the floor, butt way up, look forward a little bit, mindful of your neck and your upper back and then pull yourself forward into a little cobra or upward dog, back into table on the exhale and all the way to child's pose, breath in, breath out, up into tabletop, extend your left leg way out so the left leg is actually directly out from your right knee, hands are placed in where they would normally be for tabletop, now this is like a twofer, a combo, you get the child's pose sensation in the right side by pushing the hips back and while you're doing that, you're getting that inner left groin, inner left leg stretch, you can do this a couple times, you inhale, come forward, you can even inhale so far forward that you kind of drop the hips and come all the way back toward child's pose with your toes of your right foot curled or uncurled, I prefer curled on this side, you can come forward again, drop the hips, shift from side to side, all the way back on your exhale, the left foot is pretty much completely grounded if you can, you can also come up high on your heel, that might be a little more intense, you have to choose, now come forward again, keep the same position, work on your spine now, so the left hand is behind the head, reach your left elbow up high, so your right arm, shoulder, elbow, wrist, all in line, left hand behind the head and there's this nice rotation you might feel in your spine, now on your exhale what I want you to do is bring your left elbow toward your right forearm and then inhale, rotate, open and up, good, left elbow toward the forearm on the exhale, inhale, rotate, open and up, good, two more, exhale here, inhale, rotate, open, one more time, exhaling, inhaling, left hand comes back down, left knee joins the right knee, now take that left arm, reach it out and up and weave the left arm underneath for thread the needle pose, reach it over, over, over, over as far as it can to the right, bring your left shoulder and head down to the mat, draw your right hip back to join the left and take a few moments here to personalize this position, hips are up over your knees, you can also probably access this from child's pose, kind of different sensation, might want to stick to the table top for now or the hips up over the knees, the right arm is there for some support, your left palm is facing up as is your forearm and bicep of your left arm, slowly come back out, right hand underneath the right shoulder and take that left arm open and up, one more time, and down, cat cow, breathe in, look forward, send the sit bones high, shoulders back, chest forward, exhale, cat pose, back into your flat back, right leg out, so again the right foot, I kind of prefer the entire foot down on the mat and it's directly out to the right from your left knee, untucked or tucked are your left toes, push back on the exhalation, the seat comes way back toward your heel if you've got that range of motion, if not somewhere on the way, you can stay here or come forward, arms reach forward a little bit more, maybe drop the hips down so it's kind of an awkward little upward dog, right, all the way back into the child's pose position, keep extending that right leg out, wiggle around, one more time, come forward, drop the hips, all the way back, good, and forward, now again you probably can see better over here on this time but on this side, left shoulder, left elbow, left wrist, screw that arm in so make sure you're not splaying that elbow out and bending here or even hyper extending, so if you're hyper mobile in that elbow, put a tiny bend in that left elbow, right hand behind the head and now open up, open that right elbow up, good, so from your right elbow all the way to the left shoulder there's this stability and strength in the back you're cultivating and building, then here your right elbow toward the left forearm, you're getting that mobility and movement in your spine, inhale, rotate open and up, exhale, elbow toward the forearm, three, inhale, exhale, two, inhale, exhale, one, let's do one more breathe in and breathe out, take it up high and down, good, right knee comes back down so you're in a table top position, right arm reaches up, breathe in and breathe out, weave it under, thread the needle so the elbow gives you a little support with that right elbow down and slide the left arm forward and really walk that right hand out further and further so much that your right shoulder and head might even meet the mat, right palm up, left hand there for some support, to deepen the twist, where can you minimize the struggle and get into the shape, now use that left arm for support to exit back out, take that left hand below the shoulder, right arm reaches up one more time and back down, keep the hips up over the knees, walk your hands forward, puppy pose, another position for your spine, chest, chin toward the floor, if this is too intense on your shoulders, walk the elbows back a little bit more and a little bit wider, so it's a little bit more about the upper back and chest, I'm looking personally right now for my shoulders so you figure out arms straight or slightly bent to reduce the shoulder intensity, take another breath before we exit so let's breathe together here before we exit, full breath in and breath out, lie down on your elbows to come forward, sphinx pose, so sphinx pose place your elbows below the shoulders, palms facing down, you can press the palms into the mat, palms and forearms into the mat to pull your chest forward, stay relaxed in the head, if this is too intense on your low back you can take your elbows a little farther forward and even wider so more of your stomach is grounded and minimizes the low back compression, if you want a little bit more intensity you could always straighten your arms so you could press the palms into the mat and stay here, move the head around a little bit, ensuring no tension, relax the legs and your glutes, try to soften through breath your low back, lower all the way down, when you lower down slide your hands alongside your ribs, use your hands here for cobra pose, breath in and breath out back into child's pose, finding the best position possible for your arms, somewhere for your forehead to ground, whether it's a block, a pillow, a bolster, a blanket, your hands, starting to slow down, well not like we've ever been sped up in this practice but as we move toward more of a relaxation our shavasana is right around the corner here so start to dissolve some of the extra effort, slow the breath, you can stay here a little longer if you'd like, you can transition with me up to sit and onto your back, so we'll take a nice final relaxation together, you can lower on down draw the knees in, this is a reclined or on your back child's pose, so if ever child's pose just isn't working for you the other way, similar sensation here, bring your feet down and start to make some choices on how you feel you want to spend your relaxation, if the lights are bright in your home or wherever you are turn them down, there's too much noise going on somewhere so you can remedy that or just simply relax into whatever is around you within you, join me in one full breath, so the breath in and then the breath out will send us into relaxation, so full breath in and exhale, it falls out and relax, show the back of your neck is lengthened, comfortable, your legs are relaxed, arms are relaxed and comfortable, your back is supported, relax your shoulders, your neck, all your facial muscles relaxed, embracing the practice of slowing down, drawing comfortably toward a place of stillness and calm, if that's not the case right now for you, it's no problem. Meditation is a practice in and of itself, take a few more breaths looking to let go of all muscular effort, mental effort, allowing the breath to freely flow on its own. Come back to the breath, deepen it as it feels necessary for you to begin your exit from relaxation, stay here as long as you'd like, head moves from side to side, you might bring your arms up overhead, little gestures of movement coming out of relaxation and back into your day, your afternoon, your evening, you can roll up with me or you can take your time and roll onto your right side, either way we can close this practice out together seated, man I could have stayed there for a while, but I don't want to steal your time.

Thank you so much for being with me on the mat in this practice and contemplating or considering this practice of Estea, of non-stealing, taking, however you're interpreting it. So again this is part of a collection or a collective of principles and morals and ethics, so it's up to you how you want to interpret it, but for now that's it, I'll see you next time, it's always, always, always a pleasure, thank you, namaste.


M Angela C
5 people like this.
Thank you for this series! Another insightful practice for body and mind. Off the mat I am noticing a shift in myself. As a naturally action oriented and somewhat impatient person I can focus too much on getting the job done and doing it right! So far off the mat, these practices are helping me pause, breathe, think then act and not think less of myself. This is what amazes me about yoga and how the benefits of practice extend way beyond the mat. 🙏
Robert Sidoti
Yay!! This is so good to hear M Angela! Seeing and noticing where the yoga is showing up off the mat is huge, so happy you are finding the interest in the pause and in the sweet breath! Sending a huge hug - hope your day is filled with positive and uplifting thoughts about yourself and your life!
Lynn-Marie M
I'm a yoga teacher and this is an innovative and thoughtful practice. I appreciate the variety of seated poses and its always refreshing to decrease the amount of down dogs to decrease the repetitive movement for a variety of reasons.
This series is a definite go to for inspiration. Thank you so much!
Janet L
3 people like this.
Great practice!!!! Thank you thank you thank you!!!! I learn a lot from you!!!
Ruth E
3 people like this.
How good was to stretch my body, before the practice I felt like I couldn't reach my toes 😣 now I feel much better! Thank you for this nice  practice 🙏 Namaste.
Martha K
1 person likes this.
A very rich way to spend time. Beautiful.
Robert Sidoti
M Angela Yay!! This is so good to hear M Angela! Seeing and noticing where the yoga is showing up off the mat is huge, so happy you are finding the interest in the pause and in the sweet breath! Sending a huge hug - hope your day is filled with positive and uplifting thoughts about yourself and your life!
Robert Sidoti
Lynn-Marie Hello there!! I appreciate your comment :) Yes, varying the practice can be very helpful in many ways, glad that resonated with you Lynn-Marie! Looking forward to 'seeing' you again here in these practices! 
Robert Sidoti
You are so very welcome Janet !! There's so much to learn out there, glad you find this one of the places that provides inspiration and insight :) 
Robert Sidoti
It's amazing how the body responds and shifts when we give it some attention and movement - our energy and overall mindset completely shifts! Sooo happy to see you again here Ruth !! 
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